When I was a little kid one of my most favorite things to do was play in my sandbox. It is one of my most fondest memories. My mother gave me a bunch of excess kitchen tools and a couple of small bowls. I’d happily play for an hour or two. I enjoyed it so much that each of my children had a sandbox by the time they were old enough not to eat the sand.
A trip to the beach always meant hours digging in the sand. My cousin and I would dig deep holes and talk about how we would dig all the way to China. As you can imagine we never did dig all the way to China.
In the 70’s President Richard Nixon went to China. This was a huge thing to me. I’d only seen old photos of China in books so seeing him actually there made China a real place to me. I was 11 years old so my attention span and understanding was pretty low.
My views on China have changed over the years. They play a huge role in every day American life whether you know it or not. Many everyday items are labeled “Made in China”. I know China has some questionable policies such as their one child policy that lead to a massive number of abandoned baby girls that they are learning leads to a very unbalanced society when it comes time for all those sons to marry. This is pretty minor compared to the “reeducation camps” for ethnic and religious minorities. There have been reports of slave labor, physical abuse, rape, sterilization, organ harvesting and murder.
President Biden spoke at a town hall meeting with CNN host Anderson Cooper last week. During the conversation he dismissed the Uigher genocide as a different “cultural norm”. He said he wasn’t going to speak out about this or their treatment of Hong Kong or Taiwan. All this after the state department said they were deeply disturbed by the reports of the abuses to the Uighers.
What are we supposed to do about such a mixed message coming from the current administration? To me the state department is correct. No one should be abused, ever. Abusing people for their being a different religion or minority is wrong. There should be costs to China until they correct this behavior. How will they get the message if the message is mixed? What can we as individuals do? I’ll be conscious of where the products I buy come from and I will try to avoid products made with slave labor.